Bijdr. (1825) 377
Often very large sympodial epiphytes with very short rhizomes. Pseudobulbs large, consisting of more than one internode, few- to many-leaved. Leaves sheathing, glabrous, deciduous, duplicate, leathery. Inflorescence arising from the base of the plant, a many-flowered raceme. Flowers large, resupinate, usually greenish or yellowish with brown to purple spots. Sepals free. Petals similar to or fairly different from the sepals. Lip without spur, not mobile. Column-foot absent. Pollinia 2, solid, cleft, caudicles absent, stipe present, U-shaped, viscidium present.
Southeast Asia, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, east to Fiji. About 5 species; in New Guinea 3 species.
Epiphytes in lowland forest.
Grammatophyllum pantherinum is certainly the largest orchid in New Guinea in terms of biomass - huge clumps of several meters across may be seen. At the base of the inflorescence there are always a few abnormal flowers that have only 2 sepals and 2 petals, no lip, and a reduced, non-functional column. This is also true for Grammatophyllum scriptum, but not for the third species known from New Guinea, Grammatophyllum stapeliiflorum.